Posted on 15th January 2016

Another look at the Autism&Uni survey

While the completion of the online toolkit for students continues through its final stages, we have taken another look at the survey data, searching for new angles. Project partners were asked to go through the survey responses from their respective countries and to identify details that had surprised them or provided particularly important insights.

Unusual reasons for studying

The students’ reasons for studying were occasionally surprising. While most UK students wanted to learn more about their subject and liked studying as such, quite a few students and graduates mentioned something else as their main reason for going to university. Some could not think of anything else to do with their lives, and some wanted to escape their home environment. The same could be seen in Finland: a minority of respondents used studying as a way to buy time when struck with indecision, or to avoid being classified as unemployed.

The nature of the obstacles

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The survey responses from all countries reflected a variety of concerns, often not focusing on study skills as such but on broader issues: failure to communicate with university bureaucracy, disorientation in new environments, difficulty dealing with certain sensory stimuli, lack of connection with fellow students, or trouble adjusting to independent adult life. This general impression of variety ties in with an important observation by Dutch support staff: the diversity of autism and the necessity of individual approaches present some of the greatest challenges to the…

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